In the wild, the pursuit of food is governed by very few rules. This on-camera spat between a leopard and a hyena is the perfect example.
A video posted by Indian Forest Services officer Parveen Kaswan starts slow with a leopard poised and watching. The camera pans and zooms onto its quarry – a hyena, cautiously making its way with its dead prey.
Then, suddenly, the hyena begins to speed up. The leopard has seen the hyena’s prey and it spells a feast. A quick pursuit ensues, the two animals running onwards side by side till the hyena makes a colossal mistake – it drops its kill. Both animals are silhouetted against a setting sun as they search for their meal.
The leopard finds it and is off. The poor hyena follows, but the big cat quickly climbs a tree – and it’s time for supper.
The hyena and leopard share a delicate balance in the wild. Leopards are known for their high-speed hunts, while it’s usually hyenas who are notorious for stealing the prey of other animals. In many grassland ecosystems around the world, the hyena waits for the leopard to make a kill, scavenging on its prey once the predator has had its fill.